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Yakuza ban in Fukuoka business districts to start in June

An anti-yakuza poster in Fukuoka
An anti-yakuza poster in Fukuoka
TOKYO (TR) – Fukuoka Prefectural Police will begin banning organized crime groups from certain business districts in the prefecture beginning in June, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (Feb. 20).

The initiative, which was originally announced in December and confirmed this month following a prefectural assembly meeting, will prohibit gangsters from entering “snack” hostess clubs and izakaya restaurants in Chuo and Hakata wards of Fukuoka City and Kokura Kita and Yahatanishi wards in Kita Kyushu City and all throughout the cities of Iizuka, Kurume, and Omuta.

In what is considered a first for Japan, the move is intended to restrict yakuza groups from carrying out extortion activities, such as mikajimeryo, or the collection of protection money.

The construction industry in Fukuoka will also be targeted. Yakuza members will not be allowed to visit project sites or the homes of employees, place phone calls or send emails or faxes to construction offices, make requests for meetings with companies, and follow around construction personnel.

Violators will be required to cease their activities, and those who do not will be arrested.

Last summer, a series of attacks and threats believed to have been carried out by organized crime groups befell citizens in the Kokura Kita nightlife area. The incidents followed the posting of an anti-gang emblem outside some restaurants and bars. The campaign, which began on August 1, was intended to thwart the activities of criminal organizations in the area.

This latest action will be in effect regardless of whether the anti-gang emblem is posted outside a particular establishment.